Brake Failure

Brake Failure

BRAKE FAILURE is a contemporary romance, with humour, suspense and a kick-ass heroine. The story is set in one of the most fascinating episodes in America's history: the months leading up to Y2K "melt-down".Blurb:"Is it too late to tell him you love him when you're looking down the barrel of his gun?"Ruby Mortimer-Smyth is upper-class English, rigidly brought up to marry a...

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Title:Brake Failure
Author:Alison Brodie
Rating:
Edition Language:English
Format Type:ebook
Number of Pages:340 pages

Brake Failure Reviews

  • Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
    Sep 29, 2016

    – Brake Failure

    – Alison Brodie

    – None

    - No

    – January 9, 2017

    – Romantic Comedy

    – Stand-Alone

    – 5 out of 5 Stars

    I am NEVER disappointed when reading a story by Alison Brodie…she got me hooked on her book “The Double” and she quickly became one of my favorite authors when I want a few days full of laughs and surprises.

    And this book

    – Brake Failure

    – Alison Brodie

    – None

    - No

    – January 9, 2017

    – Romantic Comedy

    – Stand-Alone

    – 5 out of 5 Stars

    I am NEVER disappointed when reading a story by Alison Brodie…she got me hooked on her book “The Double” and she quickly became one of my favorite authors when I want a few days full of laughs and surprises.

    And this book didn’t let me down. In fact, I have to be honest and tell you that this one had more laughs than “The Double” and even more likable characters. Ruby is the perfect Lucy from “I Love Lucy” (I read that in Lauren Sapala’s review and just had to agree 100%)

    This book is a blast that couldn’t be put down…not even when walking to the kitchen to get a drink (do you know how many paper towels I went through cleaning up my messes?) or to take a potty break (yes, I did put it down for a moment to make sure I didn’t have any leakage there). And to be honest, I did put it down when I had to drive to work…except, maybe I shouldn’t have and could have met my sexy sheriff after being pulled over for driving under the influence of reading.

    You know what got me the most about this book? I feel like Ruby and I could relate to her life before Kansas. Maybe that is a place I could move to if that’s what is waiting for me!

    “There’s no place like home, Ruby slippers”

    – Author Request

    – 5 out of 5 Stars

    – 4 out of 5 Stars

    – 4 out of 5 Stars

    – 5 out of 5 Stars

    – 5 out of 5 Stars

    Yes

    – Lovers of reading a lovable character with so much spunk and sass!

  • Dianne
    Sep 10, 2016

    Just when you thought you couldn’t find a laugh-out-loud tale that will keep you flipping pages as fast as possible, along comes Alison Brodie and Ruby!

    is Ruby’s story of transformation, of finding her inner wild-child of learning to love herself enough to find the one man she truly loves.

    Growing up in a quiet and sedate upper middle class English family, Ruby was the outsider, the mis

    Just when you thought you couldn’t find a laugh-out-loud tale that will keep you flipping pages as fast as possible, along comes Alison Brodie and Ruby!

    is Ruby’s story of transformation, of finding her inner wild-child of learning to love herself enough to find the one man she truly loves.

    Growing up in a quiet and sedate upper middle class English family, Ruby was the outsider, the misfit, the one most likely to disappoint, at least that’s how she felt when her evah-so-propah half-sister reminded her. Now married and off to Kansas, Ruby is about to face culture shock at its finest and she is up to the challenge, because, when in Rome…

    What Ruby discovers is she likes the new Ruby, the one that would have her family grabbing for the smelling salts, the one her very conservative husband would never understand. The one who wanted to leap out of her comfort zone and learn the meaning of living! Ms. Prim and Proper even began to notice other men, like the handsome Native American and the exasperating deputy, but oh, they were both dream worthy, one has even captured her heart, NOT that he would ever know!

    When the New Ruby faces the New Millennium almost single and caught in the middle of a bank robbery, the transformation completes and the future is filled with wide open spaces with lots of blank canvases to make her mark on!

    I have not enjoyed so many laughs while reading in a long time! Alison Brodie is a genius, taking every crisis Ruby has faced and turning them into something for Ruby to learn to grow with in the most peculiar ways! Fast-paced, chaotic and fun, Ruby is a charmer who loses that stiff upper lip and discovers what true friends really are as she takes a chance on life in the fast-lane in the heartland of America! Feeling down? Pick up

    , guaranteed to make a stone statue crack a smile!

    I received an ARC edition from Alison Brodie in exchange for my honest review.

    Publication Date: November 7, 2016

    Publisher: Alison Brodie

    Genre: Humor

    Print Length: 287 pages

    Available from:

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  • Lauren Sapala
    Sep 13, 2016

    Hilarious, sexy, and just plain fun. I had a blast reading this book. What I really loved was that I could completely relate to the main character—a funny and intelligent woman who has landed somewhere totally unexpected and has to make the best of it, but somehow keeps ending up in situations reminiscent of I Love Lucy. That is, if Lucy had to deal with a bitchy diva socialite of a sister, crazy survivalists on the eve of the Y2K panic, and got caught in a bank robbery in the middle of it all.

    O

    Hilarious, sexy, and just plain fun. I had a blast reading this book. What I really loved was that I could completely relate to the main character—a funny and intelligent woman who has landed somewhere totally unexpected and has to make the best of it, but somehow keeps ending up in situations reminiscent of I Love Lucy. That is, if Lucy had to deal with a bitchy diva socialite of a sister, crazy survivalists on the eve of the Y2K panic, and got caught in a bank robbery in the middle of it all.

    Our heroine is also caught between two extremely attractive men, one mysterious and enigmatic, the other an irresistibly charming cowboy. Just the perfect splash of romance mixed with suspense.

    However, maybe the best part of this story was how impressively the author pulls it off. The plot has a few twists and turns that I couldn’t imagine resolving themselves in time for the ending, but it magically all came together and left me astonished, and in awe of her writing talent.

    Wonderful book. Will definitely be buying this and gifting it to friends.

  • Julie
    Dec 29, 2016

    Brake Failure is Alison Brodie’s latest romantic comedy. The story starts wide while Ms. Brodie introduces her characters. As the dual-timeline story progresses, the time lines converge, and the myriad of characters click into place in Ruby Mortimer-Smyth’s life.

    Ruby and stepsister Claire are tightly wound and in constant competition for their mother’s approval. They marry well and aspire to be the favorite daughter; every conversation is a battle of one-ups-manship. Sadly for Ruby, she feels sh

    Brake Failure is Alison Brodie’s latest romantic comedy. The story starts wide while Ms. Brodie introduces her characters. As the dual-timeline story progresses, the time lines converge, and the myriad of characters click into place in Ruby Mortimer-Smyth’s life.

    Ruby and stepsister Claire are tightly wound and in constant competition for their mother’s approval. They marry well and aspire to be the favorite daughter; every conversation is a battle of one-ups-manship. Sadly for Ruby, she feels she has completely “lost” when her new husband’s job transfer is changed from Paris, France to a small town in Kansas. Instead of café au lait and the Louvre, Ruby gets rodeos, cow pies and Indians. One thing that remains the same “across the pond” is the mounting madness over Y2K.

    I loved the quirky cast of characters Ruby meets once husband Edward goads her into meeting and befriending the locals. From wild-child Molly to survivalist lovers Mae and Idadel, each of Ruby’s new friends peel away a layer of her upper-crust veneer. Ruby’s constrained and contained life has her wound tighter than a top, but the colorful Kansans set in motion a series of events that has Ruby unraveling at a rapid pace. I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Brodie’s sense of humor and fun in this light-hearted novel. The new situations provide much humor—the Kansan’s perpetual questions about the Queen, Y2K craziness, and the differences between British and American English. It was delightful to see Ruby come into her own as she received more acceptance and appreciation from the Kansans than she did from her family who thought her average in every way.

    Once underway, Brake Failure moves along at a good pace. The story starts which starts with a shooting, and then alternates between the hunt for Ruby and the events leading up to the shooting. Grab a copy of this madcap adventure and find out if Ruby gets a happy ending or a prison sentence!

    4.5 stars

    Visit Book Junkie Reviews for more reading recommendations:

  • Sarah
    Oct 31, 2016

    Brake Failure is a story that flicks between present day where Ruby, the main character, appears to be on the wrong side of the law and to the weeks in the run up to the present day.

    Ruby I grew to really like the further into the story I got. She is quite spoilt and selfish to start with but I had to admire how feisty she is. She’s in a loveless marriage which is more one of convenience and it was quite sad to see her put convenience over her own true happiness.

    Edward her husband is quite a drip

    Brake Failure is a story that flicks between present day where Ruby, the main character, appears to be on the wrong side of the law and to the weeks in the run up to the present day.

    Ruby I grew to really like the further into the story I got. She is quite spoilt and selfish to start with but I had to admire how feisty she is. She’s in a loveless marriage which is more one of convenience and it was quite sad to see her put convenience over her own true happiness.

    Edward her husband is quite a drip. He seems a nice enough man but there is nothing about him that gets the readers heart racing, never mind Ruby’s. Hank, one of the local sheriffs, certainly seems to send sparks flying between them both though.

    Hank is quite hot headed also but there is something about Ruby that stops him from thinking straight. Ruby gets under his skin and she’s all he can think about.

    What I really liked about this story is its a mix of crime caper/rom com. The romance is there but it doesn’t over power the story. The main focus is Ruby and the life lessons she learns. Kansas sure is a long way to go to just to find yourself! But this is what Ruby does and it made me love her that tiny bit more.

    Brake Failure is a fun and light heart-ed read that will appeal to cozy mystery and chick lit fans.

    My thanks to the author for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

  • Elle ✦ Pretty Little Books ✦
    Dec 22, 2016

    January 9, 2017

    Women's Fiction and Comedy

    Brake Failure by Alison Brodie is a fun and humorous book that will keep you flipping the pages! It's been quite a while since I have read a book that has made me laugh like this one, so it's certainly a breath of fresh air for me. Sigh... I didn't even want it to end it was so good! Fans of quirky characters and stories that truly show character growth and development will want to pick up their copy of this novel. I promise, you

    January 9, 2017

    Women's Fiction and Comedy

    Brake Failure by Alison Brodie is a fun and humorous book that will keep you flipping the pages! It's been quite a while since I have read a book that has made me laugh like this one, so it's certainly a breath of fresh air for me. Sigh... I didn't even want it to end it was so good! Fans of quirky characters and stories that truly show character growth and development will want to pick up their copy of this novel. I promise, you won't be disappointed and just maybe, you will find a brand-new author to fall in love with.

    Ps: This would make a wonderful book for those who are doing a group read or are a part of a book club because it has a lot of great things that would promote a good discussion! And trust me when I say this, these types of books don't come around too often!

  • Teresa Scala
    Jan 05, 2017

    I thought this story was cute and funny. The characters had good development and the plot - while an old formula - worked very well with Ms. Brodie's spin on it.

  • Caroline
    Jan 02, 2017

    Love this novel! It's a contemporary romance with a twist and refreshingly different. Ruby, whose dreams of living a sophisticated life are those of her sister and mother, finds herself in Kansas City of all places! She didn't want to go, she wanted to move to Paris, but once in Kentucky, everything falls in place: who she is, what she likes, what she craves for in life. Follow Ruby and those she touched along her rocky path in Kansas - just sit back and enjoy a dazzling ride!

    The moment you ope

    Love this novel! It's a contemporary romance with a twist and refreshingly different. Ruby, whose dreams of living a sophisticated life are those of her sister and mother, finds herself in Kansas City of all places! She didn't want to go, she wanted to move to Paris, but once in Kentucky, everything falls in place: who she is, what she likes, what she craves for in life. Follow Ruby and those she touched along her rocky path in Kansas - just sit back and enjoy a dazzling ride!

    The moment you open this novel you are made aware of the fact that there is "a dead man at the door" of the Shady Acres Retirement Home in Kansas City. What caused the dead man to end up there is obvious: a bullet. In between the blood his words are a whisper "Don't do it, Ruby." Why he is whispering these words and what Ruby's involvement is we do not know. For that we have to go back in time. The place is London, the time five months ago shortly before Ruby marries Edward. First she has a dinner date with her (half)sister Claire, the one she always competes with though never successfully according to Ruby. Tonight is different because Ruby has a bombshell to drop: once she is married she will move to Paris. Living in Paris has always been a dream for Claire and the closest she has reached is her "elegant seventeenth-century apartment" in Brussels.

    Sometimes dreams just refuse to come true and it is only after Ruby and Edward are married that she finds out it is not Paris in Europe where she is going to live but Kansas City in the American state of Kansas. She is determined to hate it there and to do whatever possible to make her dream of living in Paris come true. The opportunity poses itself when her husband has to win over a new client but for that Ruby has to improvise. If she succeeds, Edward will be posted to Paris. However, events take another turn and it seems she will be stuck in Kansas City for a bit longer. Gradually Ruby finds her way around Kansas City and she hates to admit it but perhaps she could even like it there - just for the time being of course. Ruby makes some friends like the unconventional Molly and stray dog Rowdy. Besides that Ruby meets two men who are quite different from one another: the sexy Red Indian Chief Payat and the grumpy Sheriff Hank Gephart who brings out the worst in her.

    For the first time ever Ruby is far out of reach of the influence of both her mother (who adopted Ruby as a child) and Claire. Somehow the distance between them liberates Ruby and we see the inner Ruby hidden deep inside gradually emerging. Is she able to become herself for the first time in her life? To lose whatever control her mother, sister and mother-in-law as well as her husband Edward have over her? Plus there are lots of things Ruby worries about: what illness she has (yes maybe she is a hypochondriac but you can never know, can you?) whether the Millennium Bug (also known as the Y2K meltdown) will strike and endless more troubles. According to Ruby's aunt she has got "the devil" inside of her - beware Kansas City because Ruby is getting out of control and heading for brake failure: her ' inner devil' is about to break loose!

    Because of the layout of the book and the events going back and forth it takes you a while to get into the storyline and Ruby's life but once you are in you just want to keep on reading. Ruby is a fascinating character, I grew to love her as I gradually understood who she was. Hers was not an easy childhood and the competitiveness with her sister is hard to take in. Only in the end you fully perceive the extent of their sibling rivalry. I will refrain from saying more for fear of giving away too much. The more I read the more I loved the story and was so thrilled by the uniqueness and refreshingly different tale before me I just kept on reading. It was nothing like I expected and such a pleasant surprise! Love the book. If you need something different to read: this is it. It comes recommended.

    Read the review on my website:

  • Whispering Stories
    Jan 05, 2017

    Hypochondriac Ruby and her step sister Claire are highly competitive. They have a love/hate relationship, with more focus being on the hate. When Ruby’s husband is offered a job in Paris, Ruby is so excited and can’t wait to move, as well as shove the information in Claire’s face, as Paris is her dream home destination.

    Cruelly, her husband accepts a different job, this time taking them from the streets of London and in the opposite direction of Paris, to the middle of Kansas, USA, leaving Ruby r

    Hypochondriac Ruby and her step sister Claire are highly competitive. They have a love/hate relationship, with more focus being on the hate. When Ruby’s husband is offered a job in Paris, Ruby is so excited and can’t wait to move, as well as shove the information in Claire’s face, as Paris is her dream home destination.

    Cruelly, her husband accepts a different job, this time taking them from the streets of London and in the opposite direction of Paris, to the middle of Kansas, USA, leaving Ruby red-faced and angry.

    She feels like a fish out of water and finds the locals a little overbearing, with their 101 questions about the monarchy, for which Ruby has to make up seemingly plausible answers on the spot. However over time, she acclimatises and starts to fit in, maybe just a little too much. For this quaint English Rose, life is about to get full-on excited, that is if the local Sheriff, Hank Gephart can stop catching up with her.

    Brake Failure is set in the few weeks leading up to the year 2000, and is told from Ruby’s, and the local sheriff, who is dealing with a bank robbery’s, perspectives.

    The book opens with the shooting of Sheriff Gephart, and then jumps back in time to sixteen weeks earlier. This is a pattern continued throughout the story, with each time it is told from Ruby’s perspective we move a week forward, until the two timelines meet.

    From the opening line of ‘There’s a dead man at the door‘, to the final page, this book kept me entertained. It is comical the whole way through, and will definitely have you laughing at the many puns. The book veered me off course on more than one occasion, which I liked, as not being able to predict what is going to happen next heightens the thrill.

    What more could you want? A superb plot, fascinatingly amusing characters, and splendid writing! A perfect five stars from me.

    Reviewed by Stacey at

  • Amy
    Jan 08, 2017

    All of my reviews can be found on

    This book takes place in the weeks leading up to New Year’ Eve 1999 and it was nostalgic in a way for me. I remember all of hoopla and uncertainty surrounding Y2K and revisiting this time period was a whole lot of fun! The prologue begins with sheriff Hank being shot and found in front of a nursing home, then flips back to a few months prior. I was curious as to how the prologue would connect to Ruby’s story as she’s an English woman and Hank

    All of my reviews can be found on

    This book takes place in the weeks leading up to New Year’ Eve 1999 and it was nostalgic in a way for me. I remember all of hoopla and uncertainty surrounding Y2K and revisiting this time period was a whole lot of fun! The prologue begins with sheriff Hank being shot and found in front of a nursing home, then flips back to a few months prior. I was curious as to how the prologue would connect to Ruby’s story as she’s an English woman and Hank is a sheriff in Kansas, but as the details are slowly revealed and things start making sense, I didn’t expect to have so much fun along the way.

    Ruby and her new husband Edward move to Kansas after his job requires him to do so. Ruby isn’t exactly happy as they were supposed to be moving to Paris instead and she was hoping to finally one up her sister, Claire once and for all. The two have an epic sibling rivalry and I really didn’t care for Claire. She’s hoity toity and arrogant and not always kind to Ruby. I liked Ruby though, she tries very hard to make the best of her new and unexpected life, I was reminded of Rebecca Bloomwood from Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series as she kept finding herself in these wacky and outrageous situations.

    Ruby undergoes quite a transformation throughout the book, when it begins she’s a neurotic hypochondriac who always seems to be a ball of nervous energy. By the end she has done a complete one eighty and is confident, sexy, bold and wildly funny. There were so many moments where I was cracking up laughing here, one of my favorite parts was when Ruby was writing her epic poem. Epic indeed. There was tons of funny, sarcastic banter and just the right amount of romance.

    As I wasn’t sure how things would all fit together in the end, especially as there was quite the eccentric cast of characters converging including a group of bikers, pearl clutching older women, and Ruby’s upper crust family, I had no real expectations but even so, the ending really was fabulously perfect. I loved that it wasn’t so tidy and happy ever after but it was still totally satisfying.